Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I’m engaged! Finally, after dating for many years, and with all of my friends married with children – it’s my turn! But when it comes to celebrating, I seem to be short on participants. Sure, my friends called me to wish me mazel tov, and many will even attend my wedding, but none have offered to plan the special touches, engagement showers, or “nights out” that I participated in for my friends when they got engaged. I feel hurt and insulted and once again left behind because I was not zocheh to get engaged when we were in our early 20’s. This is a big deal. I waited a long time for this moment, and the silence is deafening. I want to tell them that it’s my turn, but I don’t know what words to use. Please help.

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Popped Balloon

 

Dear Popped,

Apparently axe-throwing is a thing now. It seems to be some sort of trendy ploy to have random groups of people throw axes at specific targets in air-conditioned venues for a laugh and a good time. No wood chopping seems to be involved, although you may wear flannel if you choose. People pay for this and buy fancy drinks to accompany their shiny sanitized axes. The goal, despite its clever packaging, remains the same: Throw the axe at the target and hit the bullseye for full points (and a free coupon for an order of fries.) This requires concentration amidst the music and noise aimed to get your blood pumping, all while encouraging your competitive spirit. Hitting the target is hard. But if you aim for it with intent, and you score a direct hit, you win. Drop the axe. (Don’t. Really don’t.)

 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…

Mazel Tov on your engagement! While every engagement is a true cause for celebration, when someone struggles to find their match and then succeeds, the joy seems to permeate the entire community. What a blessing to find the right match and of course you were excited to celebrate with your friends as you have spent years planning and participating in their simchas.

Furthermore, as more of your friends got married, I am sure that an even greater portion of the planning fell of your shoulders, and you graciously took on the task. Yet, you feel slighted and hurt at your friends’ lack of involvement now that it’s finally your turn. Sure, they are all married with families or their own, but shouldn’t they take the time and energy to celebrate a moment for which you waited so long?

 

Achieving Your Goal…

I’m sorry that you feel hurt. You have likely envisioned this moment countless times, and to find it lacking can be difficult to digest. One thing I know to be true is that we can only control our own actions, and not the actions of others. What your friends chose to do or how they rationalize and prioritize their time is not something you can regulate or manage. Instead, I would encourage you to focus on the gift you have been given and the goal that lies before you. Focus on your wedding, on preparing to become a kallah and a newlywed. Prepare for your new home and the foundation that you will create with your husband. Focus inward and with your intent on the prize; a bayis ne’eman filled with happiness, love, and respect.

 

Should Be Enough.

Your target has not changed, and the extras like fancy dinners and Party City tiaras that proclaim you to be a bride at a shower planned by friends, while nice, will never detract from your goal. Appreciate how close you are to having everything you need and want and you will quickly realize that winning a lifetime of joy with your zivug has always been the point, the bullseye, and the best celebration.

 

(Note* To those friends that have been lucky enough to get married with ease and have spent the past years collecting blessings as they become busier with children and family, I beg you to take a moment to truly celebrate your long-time single friends as they find their matches. Remember, excuses are a dime a dozen, but friendships are priceless.)

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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.